Florida college SGA cuts paper’s budget following election violation story

The PantherNOW staff in a Zoom meeting. Photo from Gerard Albert

Florida International University's student government cut the budget of the student paper, PantherNOW, for the fourth year in a row on March 24. This came just two weeks after the paper reported the Elections Board violated an election code that said SGA must publish the ballot a week before the election, leaving students unaware of… Continue reading Florida college SGA cuts paper’s budget following election violation story

Opinion: Marsy’s Law needs to be amended to keep the public better informed on crime

Police agencies are misinterpreting a victim rights law, and it isn’t helping the victims or the public

This opinion piece reflects the point of view of the writer. Cameren Boatner is a reporting intern for the Student Press Law Center. Students have a right to know when a crime occurs in their backyard – especially when the crime is sexual violence. But a law intended to protect victims is leaving the public… Continue reading Opinion: Marsy’s Law needs to be amended to keep the public better informed on crime

Access to public information restricted as schools move online

Many schools across the country are failing to comply with Sunshine Laws during the coronavirus pandemic, which is making it even more difficult for student journalists to cover the news. Daniel Bevarly, executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition, said the coronavirus isn’t a legally acceptable reason for universities to withhold public information… Continue reading Access to public information restricted as schools move online

No criminal charges filed after VCU student government members trashed 875 copies of The Commonwealth Times

An empty newsstand of The Commonwealth Times
SGA members allegedly cleared out kiosks and trashed newspapers last Wednesday VCU’s main campus. (The Commonwealth Times / Hannah Eason)

UPDATE: No criminal charges are being filed after 13 newsstands were emptied at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.  On Feb. 26, 2020, members of VCU's Student Government Association were seen trashing copies of The Commonwealth Times that included an article detailing ongoing conflicts within SGA. According to a statement by the VCU Police Department, detectives… Continue reading No criminal charges filed after VCU student government members trashed 875 copies of The Commonwealth Times

How to access the information you need to cover mental illness at your school

Ulrike May / Pixabay

Editor's note: This story provides tips for finding information about mental health in schools. For guidance on ethical considerations while covering these stories, please consult National Alliance on Mental Illness or Active Minds. For legal considerations, contact SPLC's legal hotline.  Mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression are rising among teenagers. According to Active Minds,… Continue reading How to access the information you need to cover mental illness at your school

Student media advisers in new territory during campus shut downs over the coronavirus

Photo by Craig Whitehead on Unsplash

Editor’s note: Check out the Student Press Law Center’s guide to covering the coronavirus pandemic for resources and tips to help with your reporting. Advisers, see SPLC's resources for teaching remotely. How do you find story ideas when your students aren't at school? How do you transition tried-and-true lesson plans to work in an online format? How do… Continue reading Student media advisers in new territory during campus shut downs over the coronavirus

Coronavirus: Classes canceled, coverage continues

The coronavirus has caused schools to cancel classes, but their student publications are still working to keep their readers informed. Illustration by CDC

Editor's note: Check out the Student Press Law Center’s guide to covering the coronavirus pandemic for resources and tips to help with your reporting.  Daniel Albert, editor-in-chief of The Clipper at Everett Community College in Everett, WA just finished sending the latest issue of the paper to the printer on March 5 when he got… Continue reading Coronavirus: Classes canceled, coverage continues

High school paper censored for “offensive” headline on story about district’s lack of diversity

This is the former cover of the Feb. 13 issue of The Bruin. The students had to reprint the paper and take out the words “in a white school district.” Photo courtesy of Halle Shaeffer

OHIO — Wadsworth High School's student paper, The Bruin, sparked district-wide controversy and conversations about racism with their Feb. 13 story "Black History Month in a White School District." Some praised the coverage for bringing attention to the lack of diversity in the district, while others said the headline discounted the experiences of the already… Continue reading High school paper censored for “offensive” headline on story about district’s lack of diversity

Change to Clery investigation process helps student journalists get information faster

(Unsplash / Fred Moon)

The Department of Education used to take years to resolve Clery Act complaints against universities. But as of 2019, several schools underwent a new, quicker process, which brought the schools under Clery compliance — giving journalists access to more complete campus crime statistics — in a matter of months. The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus… Continue reading Change to Clery investigation process helps student journalists get information faster